S. 3932 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010: A SummaryPDF Version
S. 3932 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010: A Summary
ntroduced by Senators Menendez (NJ) and Leahy (VT), September 2010
Title One – Border Enforcement
This first section establishes several enforcement requirements that must be met before any unauthorized immigrants can apply for permanent residency. This includes, but is not limited to, 21,000 border patrol agents, more than 6,400 Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents investigating criminal law violations, seven unmanned aircraft systems (“drones”), fifty-six mobile surveillance systems, a nationwide plan to increase enrollment in alternative to detention programs, and an employment verification system. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also required to review assets and staffing needs for border security and enforcement, and expand Customs and Border Protection and ICE staffing and fund port of entry technology in line with this review. This section clarifies that the power to regulate immigration is the responsibility of the federal government, not that of states or localities. It also strengthens collaboration among the U.S., Canadian and Mexican on improving border security and fighting crime, and gives particular attention to the needs of border communities.
Title Two – Interior Enforcement
This section regulates and controls the entry and departure of noncitizens with visas or pending legal status. DHS is required to ensure that noncitizens do not overstay their visas. The section imposes penalties on those who reenter illegally, with heightened penalties for those with a criminal record reentering illegally. Title Two also mandates that DHS establishes secure alternatives to detention and that it ensure that detained individuals treated humanely, with special attention to elderly or ill immigrants, crime victims and other “vulnerable populations.” Also, time limits for the application process and waiting periods for refugees and asylees to obtain green cards are eliminated.
Title Three – Worksite Enforcement
New worksite enforcement policies regulate the legal employment of immigrants and attempt to prevent fraud in the work authorization process. Employers are required to use an employment verification system, and new fraud- and tamper-resistant Social Security cards will be issued to prove authorization. Individuals who use fraudulent documents will face criminal penalties. The Social Security Administration is required to create a reliable and secure way of verifying Social Security numbers and correcting errors in its database.
Title Four – Reforming America’s Legal Immigration System
This section of the bill adjusts the legal immigration system to realistically structure visa programs, expand labor protections, make family unity a more significant priority and take processing delays into account when handling immigration cases. It creates a Standing Commission on Immigration, Labor Markets, and the National Interest to evaluate labor market and economic conditions and recommend quotas for employment-based visa programs. Title Four also creates a new nonimmigrant visa program, called H-2C, to address gaps in existing worker programs that have led to undocumented migration. Workers applying to participate in the H-2C program must have a job offer and meet various requirements, and the number of workers under this program will be based on the recommendations of the aforementioned Standing Commission. The visas last three years, and after four of H-2C status, eligible immigrants can apply for a green card. The program has various features to protect both U.S.-born and H-2C workers, such as requirements for employers to hire American workers first, and the ability of H-2C workers to change jobs.
Also under this section, the number of family and employment green cards does not expire because of processing delays, and exempts counting certain immigrants against green card quotas so they can immediately reunite with green card-holding family members. Also included is the entire AgJOBS bill, which provides an earned path to permanent residency for farm workers, and the Uniting American Families Act, which allows families headed by permanent partners to access the family-based immigration system.
Title Five – Legalization of Undocumented Individuals
This creates a Lawful Prospective Immigrant (LPI) status for non-criminal undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. since 9/30/10. It lasts for four years and includes work authorization, permission to travel abroad, and eligibility for immediate family members after biometric and biographical data is submitted, security and law enforcement checks are completed and fees are paid. Individuals with LPI status can apply for Legal Permanent Residency (a green card) after meeting specific criteria and waiting six years after gaining LPI status. Applicants for Legal Permanent Residency would first have to renew their LPI status for an additional period, in order to be able to fill the six-year waiting requirement. This section also incorporates the DREAM Act, which provides a pathway to legal status for undocumented young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents, if they enroll in college or the U.S. military.
Title VI – Immigrant Integration and Other Reforms
Tax credits will be made available to teachers of English language learners and businesses that provide programs to help immigrants learn English and U.S. civics, and grants for states that work on successful integration of newcomers. A grant program for state court interpreters is also provided. The bill also provides humanitarian visas for certain Haitian orphans and Liberian Nationals, and creates two Commissions on Wartime Treatment, one of European Americans and the second of Jewish Refugees to review the country’s immigration and foreign policies during World War II.